Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Esther: A Dangerous Beauty by Angela Hunt

"You may think you know me, but how could you? Others have related my story, and  most of them paint a pretty picture. But unless a woman is allowed to speak for herself, no one will every fully understand the events of a lifetime...and the secret recesses of a woman's heart." Opening Sentences 

Synopsis:

When Xerxes, king of Persia, issues a call for beautiful young women, Hadassah, a Jewish orphan living in Susa, is forcibly taken to the palace of the pagan ruler. After months of preparation, the girl known to the Persians as Esther wins the king's heart and a queen's crown. But because her situation is uncertain, she keeps her ethnic identity a secret until she learns that an evil and ambitious man has won the king's permission to exterminate all Jews--young and old, powerful and helpless. Purposely violating an ancient Persian law, she risks her life in order to save her people...and bind her husband's heart.

Review by Mirella Patzer

I have read several novels about Esther, but this one stands out as one of the best. This Biblical historical woman continues to fascinate readers today!

It is a rag to riches story of a poor Jewish girl who is inadertently discovered by the king of Persia's palace officials, and through sincerity, cunning, and wisdom becomes his queen. The story is told through the point of view of Esther and the king's closest advisor, a trustworthy eunuch. Throughout her rise to power, Esther had to keep her Jewish roots secret, for the Jews were persecuted and disliked. This added a great deal of tension to the story as Esther was constantly at risk of being discovered. 


The prose is as beautiful and lyrical as the exotic setting - an era of brutality and harsh circumstances. Nicely researched, well paced, and with plenty of twists and turns to keep one reading to the end, I loved this version of her story. I highly recommend it. Besides, how can you not pick up this book - the cover is absolutely stunning! This is one case where it's safe to judge the book by its cover.


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